Five years ago today, on 7 November 2016, Leonard Cohen died. 

I wrote this poem after seeing him perform at The Wembley Arena on his last concert tour in the UK. It is called Tower of Song after his song of the same name.

Tower of Song

He stands stiff and stooped,

legs buckling beneath him.

Back bent,

head bowed.

When he takes off his hat

we see an old man.

And then he takes the mic

and we hear that familiar voice.

Deeper, more rasping

but still with the power

to melt my heart.

And from the noise in the arena

thousands feel the same.

He stands quite still

almost in reverence

while his musicians perform

and his singers sing.

He speaks for a whole generation.

He lifts us

with his words,

his music,

his compassion.

When our time is up

no one wants to leave.

We stand and stamp

and clap and shout.

A huge roar

as he returns

to sing again

and again.

At the end

he speaks to every one of us

as if we are alone with him.

It is like receiving a priestly blessing.

His words move me to tears.

Hey Leonard

That’s no way to say goodbye.

Leonard Cohen

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems


  1. Hi Andy,
    Just read this and it so captures how Leonard Cohen has seemed to me, too. I agree with the comment above…very moving.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Andrea Such a great singer and man,and a very good poem too. Good luck next weekend Love Brian, and Yvonne too of course!

    If you have moment visit my blog at http://www.brianswatercolours.blog Or my gallery at http://www.artfinder.com/Brianswatercolours

    Coming up: Home is a Feeling – An exhibition of many artists including my watercolours. Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th November 2021 – the Alexander Centre, Faversham. Details at https://kentcreative.org/event/home-is-a-feeling-2021/


    Liked by 1 person

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